Keeping The Heart

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” – Proverbs 4:23

Keeping Your Heart

We are so excited to announce that Fully Alive Women’s Ministry is starting up in August! This fall we will be learning how to live steadfast, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled lives by studying the magnificent book of Philippians. Our daily passion for Jesus will burn brighter as we learn to maintain our hearts with increased love, joy and faithfulness to the Word of God. The gospel will be advanced in our lives, families and ministries. Prayers will be answered! We will abound in love for God and for each other as we keep our hearts burning for Christ and Him alone.

So mark your calendars! On August 21st at 6:30p.m. we will have our first evening of worship, teaching, prayer, and fellowship.

Let’s grow in hearing God’s voice in his word. This semester we will deepen our relationship with Jesus by encountering him in his word. We will learn what it means to keep our hearts—which is one of the most important, yet hard things we can do.

Let’s be women who are marked by prayer. We want to nurture a culture of praying together—whether that is scheduled prayer or spontaneous prayer. Author Megan Hill calls Genesis 4:26 the first true great awakening. It says, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.” Let’s be women who pray for this in our day.

Let’s pray for this for the lost and hurting in our city, but let’s enjoy the benefits of praying together too. David Mathis in his book Habits of Grade shares nine benefits of praying together as believers: 1) Added power. 2) Multiplied joy. 3) Greater glory to God. 4) Fruitful ministry and mission. 5) Unity among believers. 6) Answers we otherwise wouldn’t get. 7) To learn and grow in our prayers. 8) To know each other. 9) To know Jesus more. (112-116).

Let’s grow in our relationships with each another. What a joy godly friendship is. Many of us have walked in the beauty of godly friendship for many years and it reminds me of Nathan Tarr’s biographical sermon on Esther Edwards Burr. Esther said, “I esteem religious conversation one of the best helps to keep up religion in the soul (I don’t know but the very vest).” Let’s deepen our friendships this year and invite others into it.

As we gather this fall our aim is to glorify God and to edify each other. We are exhorted in Hebrews 10:23 to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” And so as we come together, “let us consider how to stir one another up to love and good works” (v.24).

As we do this together, let’s ask God to make us a community that is so compelling that our non-believing friends and neighbors would take notice and desire to know God because of what He is doing in his people. And as we share the gospel with our friends and neighbors and let’s expose them to the supernatural community that is the local church.

So this fall, let’s come together and feast on the word, lift up our hands and hearts in prayer and worship, and let’s encourage one another all the more as the Day is drawing near (Heb. 10:25). Invite your friends to be a part of this compelling community of women. See you in August!

Here are the details for the Kick-Off celebration service:

Location: Christ Church Knoxville

Date: August 21st

Time: 6:30p.m.

UPDATE – Fully Alive at Five Holiday Schedule

Fully Alive at Five is done for the year. There will be no more Fully Alive at Five Tuesday morning meetings until the new year, HOWEVER don’t miss the Fully Alive Finale on Sunday December 10th! More details will be coming soon about the finale party but be sure to mark your calendars.

Once again we have seen the faithfulness of the Lord as He met us at this semester of Fully Alive. What a joy it was to come to together and sing praises to Jesus for what He has done to purchase our salvation! We pray that your soul has been encountered this semester on Tuesday mornings and we hope that your lives are marked by Christ in a whole new way during this holiday season. We will let you know what the schedule for next year looks like but just know that we are looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2015!

Fully Alive 2014: Kickoff Recap!

David said it best: “Blessed is the one you choose and bring near…we will be satisfied with the goodness of your house!” Psalm 65:4.

Last night at the Alive at Five Fall Launch, we were brought near to the throne and were satisfied by His presence with us! I am filled with awe and expectation as I look  forward to Tuesday morning at 5 am with you faithful gals…and Jesus!  Be there! –Kathy

Kathy’s message from the Fall Kickoff is now online. Click here and to download or stream the audio file below:

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Fully Alive 2014 Kickoff!

I am sure your summer has been full of lots of friendship, family activity, traveling, work and fun!  Fall is a season for reaping and renewal!  I am trusting the Holy Spirit to do just that in our hearts as we launch another semester of Alive at Five on Sunday night, Sept. 21, at 7 pm!
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Yes, we will launch our Fall Kick-Off with an evening edition of Alive at Five by hosting a City-wide Worship Celebration! This will be a time for seeing and savoring Jesus Christ!  He promises to meet with us as we gather!  When He is in the room with us there is fullness of joy!  So, if you are hungry to know divine joy, the kind of soul-satisfying delight that only comes with he presence and pleasure of God, then bring and friend and join us!
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Here are the details for the Kick-Off  Celebration service and for the resuming Tuesday, 5 am, morning schedule, beginning on September 23, at 5am.
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Here are the details:
When: Sunday, Sept. 21st
Time: 7pm 
Location: Christ Church Knoxville – NEW LOCATION
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Below are the dates for this semester but as always, make sure you follow us on our NEW Fully Alive Ministry Facebook page or on the Fully Alive blog in order to easily receive any schedule changes due to weather, etc as well as other announcements, updates, testimonies and resources.
Fall 2014 Schedule:
Kick-Off Celebration Service:
– Sept 21
Tuesday 5AM Meetings: 
– Sept 23rdOct 7thOct 21stNov 4thNov 18th
End of Semester Celebration Service:
– Dec 2

Fully Alive on Facebook

Did you know that Fully Alive is on Facebook? We have consolidated our FA Kids and FA at Five pages into one page: Fully Alive Ministries. Be sure to go to https://www.facebook.com/fullyaliveministry and click “Like” to follow us! Stay up to date with everything Fully Alive from events to pictures, from blog posts to discussions. Be sure to go online and suggest this page to everyone you know! Fully Alive Ministries is able to grow and, more importantly, the Fully Alive message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as you suggest and link and these resources to friends and family.

Thank you for being a part of Fully Alive!

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Bloggers Around Fully Alive

Did you know that several of the moms and women in Fully Alive Ministries are bloggers themselves? Check out the websites of these ladies that serve on the Fully Alive Leadership Team:

 

FA- DevonDevon Tarr has a passion for ministry, worship and glorifying God through dance. She has devoted many hours of her life to studying the scriptures, specifically focusing on worship through dance. Check out her blog “The Dancing Key” at http://thedancingkey.wordpress.com/.

 

FA- Kelly Tarr Kelly Tarr is wife and mother of three children whose passion is Jesus Christ. In all things whether teaching, reading, parenting, learning or serving, Kelly seeks the Scriptures for her great foundation. Check out Kelly’s blog at http://kellytarr.com/.

 

FA- ashley bakerAshley Baker is also a wife, mother and blogger who loves to learn about Jesus with her family. Her lifestyle blog goes everywhere from teaching her kids to having fun on the weekends. Check out Ashley’s blog “The Pencilled Daydream” at http://pencilleddaydream.com/

 

Perspectives from Uganda: Abby

We have been posting testimonies from different team members who were on the Uganda mission trip several weeks ago featuring their personal experiences from this time of ministry. These posts will be here on the Fully Alive Website for Abby and Lauren, since they focused on the women’s ministry, and on the Christ Church Website for the men who served on the trip as well.

Here is Abby’s testimony from her time with the team in Uganda:


Sitting on the plane flying from Amsterdam to Uganda, my first journal entry read: “We are on our way to Uganda. We’ve already encountered quite a few obstacles—Aunt Kathy’s passport wasn’t up to par with regulations and she had to stay behind, we almost missed our connecting flight to Amsterdam, and my tickets weren’t booked appropriately which meant I had difficulty at every gate-one thing after another. Praising You that no weapon formed against us will prosper… we believe that this is a sign of the effective work You are going to accomplish as we go for the sake of Your name and the gospel”. At Our last meeting before the trip, we had all confessed our great need for God to supply what He would have us give to the Ugandan Church. Even as we met obstacles, we knew that it was Him who provides what we need to fulfill the task for which He calls us. All we could do was trust Him.

Kathy Tarr, known to me as “Aunt Kathy”, had planned to host sessions for the pastor’s wives and other female Christian leaders in the area while the men in our group hosted a pastor’s conference. And here we were on a plane without her. I had been asked to come prepared to lead the women in worship, but I was not prepared to lead anything beyond worship. As soon as I found out that Aunt Kathy could not join us, I began to ask God to make me a willing vessel if He would see fit to speak His Word through me to these women. I was aware that I would be much younger than most of these women, they had endured hardship that I could not even begin to imagine, they were mothers and wives, and ultimately, their lives were very different from mine. But what I kept being reminded of from Isaiah 55:11 is that His Word never returns to Him empty but accomplishes His purpose and will succeed in the thing for which He sends it. His Word is a sure foundation. This very truth was what my brothers, Nathan, Mark, and Nick were teaching on the day leading up to the women’s session.

So, strengthened by the Word of God from the mouth of our brothers, Lauren and I stood before the women and began to share about the love that God demonstrates to women throughout His precious Word, specifically focusing on John 4. We read Psalm 139 and reminded them that just as He knew the Samaritan woman in John 4, so He knows each of us. “You know when I sit down and when I rise up…You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me…” (Ps. 139:2, 5, 6a). As I looked out over the women, and spoke, I prayed silently that He would be faithful to encourage them with His Word coming out of this very weak vessel. After we finished, we had some time for the women to ask questions or comment. And we were humbled as woman after woman stood up and thanked us for coming all the way from the U.S. to bring them the Word of God. One of them said “we trust that if God brought you from the U.S. to Uganda to speak to us, then He has something to say”. They didn’t care that we were young, single, American and etc. They knew that we shared a common hope, which is Christ, and they wanted to share in the deposit He had given to us. I walked away awed by God and encouraged by these precious sisters.

Fully Alive sisters, we have sisters and mothers in the faith who are fully alive in Uganda. Pray for them. The obstacles they face are different than ours, but they are pressing into Jesus and His word. They don’t have easy lives by our American standards, but they worship and pray with exuberance. Even as Lauren and I were able to bless and encourage the Ugandan women, we left deeply blessed and encouraged. We were challenged to grow in our love for His Word, prayer, fasting and come into His presence in worship with great joy. He is worthy!

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Reclaiming God’s Design for Marriage

Years ago Kathy Tarr spoke at a marriage seminar for couples. The seminar was focusing on God’s eternal plans for husbands and wives. This was a rich time of teaching and worshipping in and through the Word of God. God has a very clear calling on the lives of men and women who get married and we want to follow that vision to glorify His great name!

For the longest time these teachings have been tucked away on CDs that were dispersed to the attendees of that conference. Fully Alive Ministries is happy to provide the audio files from these sessions online for the first time! We hope that you will benefit from these teaching sessions as you seek to please God in your marriages. Be sure to share the links with friends and family as well!

You can listen or download the messages in MP3 format by clicking below or going to the Fully Alive resources page.

SessionTitleSpeakerListen/download
I"God's Beautiful Design"Kathy TarrClick here to listen
II"What Happened to Paradise"Kathy TarrClick here to listen
III"Restoring Oneness - Part 1"Kathy TarrClick here to listen
IV"Restoring Oneness - Part 2"Kathy TarrClick here to listen

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Perspectives from Uganda: Lauren

A few weeks ago Christ Church Knoxville had a team in Uganda serving the missionary base “Youth Ablaze”. They spent time ministering to the teams there and sharing the Gospel with the local peoples. What a joy it was to hear all that the Lord has done when they returned!

We have been posting testimonies from different team members featuring their personal experiences from Uganda. These posts will be here on the Fully Alive Website for Abby and Lauren, since they focused on the women’s ministry, and on the Christ Church Website for the men who served on the trip as well.

Here is Lauren’s testimony from her time with the team in Uganda:


The Rock on Which I Stand

Lauren Oppizzi

When we arrived to the church in Tororo, Uganda, I was exceptionally comforted by a banner that hung over the stage that read, “Jesus Christ is the same…”. Despite the differences in an unfamiliar culture and location, I was deeply ministered to by this simple yet powerful truth that stretches across the globe and all circumstances. Little did I know, this truth would penetrate my heart in unthinkable ways over the next several days. Many people told me that I would never be the same after going to Africa for the first time, and they are correct. But this is for no other reason than I was encountered by the living God while I was there—through the proclamation of His powerful, fixed word; the prayer and worship of His people; and the rending of my heart unto repentance and turning to see the beauty and sufficiency of Jesus. Despite my seemingly extroverted tendencies, since I can remember I have struggled with great fear and anxiety. For weeks up until and for most of the trip itself, these struggles became extremely intense, even to the point of despair at times. This was a huge internal battle coupled with the other things that made our days slightly more uncomfortable and unfamiliar, such as loosing our luggage for a few days, sickness, and jet lag. Oh but how wonderful and faithful is our Lord to work everything together for the good of those who love Him. He graciously used every one of these pressures to humble me, casting me at His feet in repentance with nothing to offer Him in myself, and call on His name. And He was so faithful to hear my cry and wash me with His living word. My eyes were opened in a new way to the sufficiency, power, and surety of God’s word as I heard my brothers speak this truth throughout the course of the trip.

As I was brought to my knees, by the mercy of The Lord, this was not only unto my own heart being freed by seeing Christ, but for the sake of His name being glorified among the nations. As we were all exhorted to see and consider the sufficiency of Christ and His word throughout the week, this was (rightly) the only foundation which Abby and I had to stand on as we unexpectedly prepared to minister to a beautiful group of women on the last day of the seminar. What a marked moment this process was! The night before, The Lord met us as we cried out for Him to come in our preparation and ministry time. At this point, The Lord began to really open His word, give clarity, peace, joy, and strength, and he moved faithfully and powerfully among us all on that day as we sat outside under the tree. By His grace, He truly strengthened and ministered to all of our hearts as we were faithful to proclaim His word to mothers in the faith. We had no clue how joint ministry time would weave together, but it was done beautifully and led solely by the Holy Spirit. I had never been so confident in the power, sufficiency, ability, and clarity of God’s word until that day. I am so thankful that the encouragement and exhortation brought by my sister and brothers that week was able to propel me to follow Him there. His word truly spoke life into me from places that were dead! By His grace, I was not bound or hindered by my feelings or emotions, but clung to and proclaimed the true word of God that He has revealed through His son. This is our bread which gives life! It was awesome to watch the way the Holy Spirit continued His ministry as the women began speaking the word to one another and to us in response. And how glorious, loving, and true The Lord displayed Himself to be as we were able fellowship with the women, rejoicing in the spoken truth and praying with one another.

As I have reflected on the trip, I am taken back and deeply encouraged as I remember the day we hiked to the top of Tororo Rock with the Youth Ablaze students. Of note, that was the day I got sick. Throughout the day and night, as I went to bed early, this was when The Lord really began tenderizing my heart and drawing me to repentance and trusting Him in some significant areas in my life. So on that day, when we reached the top of the rock and shared the beautiful, panoramic display of God’s glory in the African country and sky, we joined hands with one another and prayed. We then turned to every side of that rock and prayed with one another over the nations, and came back together to worship The Lord together. This was a moment that The Lord sobered me, as I looked up and saw people who are joyfully laying down their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ, though it could mean their own blood. I saw a people who were reflecting something about Christ that I became hungry to know—that He is worthy and He is ALIVE. And the truth and reality of this good news must be shared unto the glory and praise of His great name! I shook one of my brother’s hands as we began to hike back down the rock, and was overcome with this truth and began weeping. I did not quite understand what happened that day, or the shift that occurred in my heart over the trip. But now I can look and see that The Lord very sweetly marked a place on earth that testifies to what He has done. On Tororo Rock, He planted my feet on the Rock of Jesus Christ, and called me to join Him on His mission.

By the mercy of God I left Africa transformed, hungry for more of His word and more in love with Jesus than when I arrived. As I have come back to America, I am even more comforted by the truth displayed on the banner I saw in the church, that “Jesus Christ is the same…”. I rejoice that by the mercy and sure foundation of God’s word, nothing can thwart His purposes or undo what He has done through Christ (Isaiah 14:27; 43:10-13). When our eyes are graciously opened to see that the word of God is true and sure, and we view it through the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ—the living word, the truth of the gospel happens to us. It comes more of a reality to our hearts, and fixes our feet on the immovable Rock Himself. Our hearts become steadfast as we trust in the love and mercy of God, displayed on the cross of Jesus Christ. Indeed, His truth sets the heart free to love God and His people and to lay our lives down in worship, weak and broken as they are, for Christ. Oh what a glorious truth, what a sure foundation. What a steadfast anchor of the soul that we can cling to with confidence. Oh, what a Savior!

Reminder About Fully Alive Retreat

ATTENTION LADIES!!! This is a quick update regarding registration for the retreat upcoming this Saturday, April 12th. You now have until 7pm tomorrow evening to sign up at the $30 discounted rate. We are so looking forward to this sweet time together in the satisfying presence of Jesus! Hurry up and register by clicking here so that you can save your extra $5 for a treat on the road.

Also, please let us know if finances are prohibiting you from attending. We want to make sure that all who desire to be there can be there. You can simply contact the retreat admin team will confidentially work with you to make a way for you to attend.

Don’t forget to let us know if you desire to participate in the caravan when you register. Later this week we will be sending out directions and caravan information to all who have registered, along with any other details you might need for the day.

What a privilege it is to be able to meet together in the presence of our sweet Savior in the splendor of God’s magnificent creation. We pray that your hearts are stirred with anticipation and longing for this time! We can’t wait to see you there!

Blessings,

The Fully Alive Ministry Team